How different are liberals really from religious fundamentalists?

By the looks of it, liberals stand on one end of the spectrum, while religious fundamentalists are on the other. But I believe both are fundamentalists in their own ways. Both are control freaks, and both exercise discrimination and oppressive behavior against “the other.” Both want to clone people so they would become just like them to fit into either one of their camps.

  • Bring an uncovered woman to a closed religious fundamentalist society, she will be mistreated, and lectured for not covering her hair. She will be targeted by other women, both nicely and vulgarly, to finally cover her hair (out of pressure and fear of not being massaged into her surroundings). Women will back-stab her and speak ill of her just because she doesn’t wear the hijab.
  • Bring a covered woman to a liberal society, she will be looked down-upon, treated like she was a plague, and tricks will be applied to sway her out of her hijab. If she is the only covered woman in a social event, she will sure be made aware of it with gazes that tell her “you don’t fit here, go back to your own flock.”

I find both societies extremely… how shall I say it… saddening.

I personally don’t like hijab.

In my life journey, I have traveled all the way from my teenage days when I used to think that hijab is a social practice, to my “now” days where I have come to acknowledge it as a commandment by Allah to protect women.

I still do not – in my heart of hearts – like hijab.

But my heart aches when I meet people who think they can put hijab on a woman’s head, or remove hijab from her head:

People who think they can terrorize her so she can fit in, who think they have a rule and a power on this earth to reject or accept her based on her looks. Who think they can take away from her humanity just because they do not agree with her, who back-stab her, speak ill of her, exercise all kinds of bad manners against her, just because she does not resemble their clothing, she doesn’t mirror their ideals, and she does not cherish their little gods.

It’s her head, she does what she wants with it. Leave her alone!

About 50% Syrian

What is identity? I was raised Arab (of varying origins), with a Syrian mother, and Moroccan, Lebanese and Tunisian great grandfathers and grandmothers. I always felt 50% Syrian, and this percentage mattered to me more than anything else. Love of my life, my late Sufi grandmother, is Syrian... all her bedtime stories were about her life in Damascus. Damascus is where the heart dwells.
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8 Responses to How different are liberals really from religious fundamentalists?

    • 50% Syrian says:

      I’m really sad, too. I wrote this post after learning that a newly divorced woman was told she had to remove her hijab to be able to work at the prestigious workplace she applied for.

      • أمنية says:

        OMG are they still doing this?
        i remember in my early 20’s when i first graduated , i used to apply for jobs, the town was like split into two camps , opportunities for those wearing hijab and another for those who are not. i was so frustrated that i had to ask before going on interviews whether they looking for one with hijab or not, it was so damn killing. i heard that things change, and that they looking for qualifications first.
        actually this issue is so tiring for any girl. at least for me. i recently went for 3ommra and everyone asking , aren’tu going to wear hijab? i just don’t feel i fit in hijab. i don’t like it. when i wear it , it doesn’t look like me. it looks like someone else. no one cares.. all repeats this is jihad alnafis.

  1. says:

    If we respect each other choices and acknowledge the difference as normal behavior of being a human being of different religions, principles, educations, experience…, then we will be practicing real democracy which unfortunately is still a forbidden term for some large sections of our society.

  2. seleucid says:

    That’s so sad.

    You clamp us liberals up with people who only walk under our banner. liberalism means freedom, which includes freedom to wear what you want.

    I apologize on behalf of the oppressive among us, we will fight for freedom always.

    • 50% Syrian says:

      There is no “we” in the liberal camp world. You are of a different feather altogether: an honest, ethical, dreamer… who still didn’t get the chance to see the ugliness of the pseudo liberal campers who almost dominate HQ 🙂

  3. really interesting post, i really enjoyed reading

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